A few weeks back I took a plunge and got a pair of Vibrams Five Finger running shoes. After using them for a few weeks, I finally feel like I’ve run enough in them to give a review of my experiences with them so I decided I might as well make it a video review.
If you’re the type that likes to skip around here are some of the highlights.
- [-1:08] – The VFF Community
- [-1:57] – Conversation Piece
- [-2:30] – Connecting With The Ground & Being Present
- [-4:30] – Healing Powers [Only Half Joking]
- [-5:22] – Portability
If you can’t watch the video for any number of reasons [or you just don’t like watching videos], have no fear, it’s optional. Here’s all the things I really liked about my Vibrams in good ole-fashioned text.
Things I Liked
The VFF Community
While VFF’s are still fairly rare to see in everyday use, the community surround VFF is HUGE. In the 48 hours after getting them, I connected with the following via twitter
- Half Of Jess [aka Half Of Jess]
- Colin Wright [aka Exile Lifestyle]
- Steve Kamb [aka Nerd Fitness]
- Stefan Schneider
- Matt Griffin [aka Baker’s Edge – maker of awesome pans for making awesome brownies…awesome for eating, not so awesome for running]
I also found Birthday Shoes via Stefan which is a real wealth of knowledge on all things barefoot running & Vibrams enthusiasts. I spent over a few hours just digging through some of the content over there. Good stuff.
For better or worse, you’ll always get noticed if you wear Vibrams. You have to get used to it when you run in things that resemble grey camouflaged toe socks. It’s just the way it is. Now if you hate people, this might not be a good thing, but I enjoy meeting people and I’ve met a lot and had some very interesting conversations that started with them asking what in the heck I was wearing.
Connecting With The Ground & Being Present
You feel everything when you run in Vibrams. Yes, there’s protection from the ground, but it’s very little. This forced me to really pay attention while I was running. This is definitely something you learn very quickly after NOT paying attention and running over a patch of gravel and rocks. After that, I was more attentive to my surroundings and more aware of my environment. I actually really enjoyed this because it is much easier for me to BE in the present moment when I’m constantly engaging my mind and not just going on autopilot. I found I started to enjoy running more and I was complaining about running in my mind less.
Healing Powers [Only Half Joking]
I used to have a knee issue while running. It wasn’t that bad, but it would start acting up around the 1.5 mile marker and I would have to just push on through & ignore the pain. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t comfortable either. Since I’ve been running in my VFF, I’m cured! I don’t feel any pain in my knee anymore. While I can’t definitively point to the VFF as fixing my issues, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if that was the case.
VFFs are super portable. They take up less space than one normal running shoe and they’re easy to throw in your bag and just go without worrying about lugging them around with you. Having shoes you can take anywhere with you is a powerful tool with the “Screw It & Do It” mindset. You can always have your shoes on you and be ready for a run anywhere. No more excuses.
Overall, there are a lot of things to like about them. I’ll be doing a post next week following up on the things I don’t like about them as much. In the mean time…
What I want to hear from you
If you use Vibrams or Run Barefoot:
- What’s your favorite thing about your Vibrams 5 Fingers Shoes?
- What’s your favorite thing about Barefoot Running?
If you don’t do either:
- What’s your number one question about Vibrams 5 Fingers or Barefoot Running?
Take 3 seconds to take this poll. I’d really appreciate it.[poll id=”2“]
If you still have questions on Vibrams & Barefoot Running and want to do more research, Leo Babatua has put together a few articles on barefoot running and the philosophy behind it that would be well worth your time.